The weather was very nice today, so nice that the boys and I decided to hit the ball field for some fundamentals. The field was a little damp after a couple days of rain, but not too bad.

Baseball Practice

We worked on fielding mostly, but got in some batting practice, too, and some pitching and catching for Adam. After a nice work-out on the field, we went to lunch at one of our favorite restaurants: Gator’s Dockside. The food is great and we like to sit outside and watch baseball (or football or racing, etc.) on the big screen TVs.

Gator's Dockside

We had a blast! (as always 🙂 )

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Summer is almost here, so time for some cooler (as in temperature) haircuts. Adam normally keeps his hair short, but Alex likes his hair longer (this time it was just about to his shoulders). Anyway, surprisingly, Alex opted for a nice conservative haircut, while Adam went with a flattop.

Alex short hair Adam's flattop

Handsome boys! And Adam looks a little like Howie Long.

Haircuts

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Another reason for the family trip to SW Florida was so we could present this shadowbox to my father-in-law for his birthday. He served 20-years in the US Air Force, but he didn’t have ANY reminders of his service, they being lost to the passage of time. All he had were some papers in a briefcase he kept in his closet. Fortunately, one of those papers was his DD214, which contained most of the of the information needed to construct the shadowbox, and short conversation provided the rest.

Happy Birthday, “Poppy”…and thanks for your service!

Shadowbox

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Yesterday was the boys’ last day of school and Sumer Vacation has officially started. I had some work to do in SW Florida, so Cindy and the boys were able to join me. As usual, while I worked, they soaked-up some sun. And since we were only a few miles from Lido Key, well…

At the beach

The boys had a great time in the water…and Alex even got in a little body surfing!

At the beach At the beach

This is Florida Living!!

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The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp is the new name for the Marlins’ AA baseball team formerly known as the Jacksonville Suns. I grew-up with the Suns, so am not too keen on the new name, but Adam and Alex are on board! I guess the silly naming convention used in the minor leagues really does appeal to the kids. Still, I miss my Suns.

JS Sign

Anyway, today was “free hat” day at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, so the boys and I tried our luck at being one of the first 1,000 through the gates to get a hat. Alas, we weren’t, so I just bought hats at the “Shrimp Shop”.

So, wearing our new Jumbo Shrimp hats, and with hot dogs, pretzels, and peanuts in hard, we made our way to our seats along the first base line.

Adam Alex

I was surprised at the crowd here today…

Crowd

The game was great! The Shrimp were playing the Mississippi Braves. The Braves were up 2-1 until the bottom of the 6th when Cal Towey hit a 2-run double putting the Shrimp in the lead for the first time. The Braves came back and tied it up 3-3 in the top of the 9th, but then, the Shrimp’s John Norwood hit a walk-off homer to give Jax the game!

John Norwood

It was a great game and the boys and I had a LOT of fun!! Of course, the highlight of the game for Alex was meeting Jacksonville’s new mascot, “Scampi”…

Alex and Scampi

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Well, our first year in the scouts is coming to an end. Adam and Alex, and the rest of the Den 1 boys, have been working hard to earn their Tiger rank, completing “adventures” and earning belt loops…

Belt Loops

and tonight they successfully advanced. The ceremony was held at the Pack Meeting with a ceremonial bridge crossing that symbolized their transition from Tiger Scout to Wolf. I stood at the entrance to the bridge and removed their orange Tiger neckerchief, while Cindy, our Den Leader, met them on the other side to put on their new yellow Wolf neckerchief.

Alex crosses the bridge…

Alex Crosses Alex Neckerchief

then Adam crosses…

Adam Crosses Adam Neckerchief

Nice work, boys! We’re very proud of you.

Tiger Rank

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…is the soundtrack to the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie. And, believe it or not, Mom wanted to see this movie on Mother’s Day. Cindy normally doesn’t care for SciFi movies, but Guardians is different. It’s incredibly funny and the music is, well, Awesome! And the way director, James Gunn, wove the tracks into the film is brilliant. I mean who would’ve thought “Come A Little Bit Closer” by Jay and the Americans or ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky,” would work as the backdrop to the ultra-violence playing-out on the screen? How could ANYONE not LOVE this movie??

Anyway, we watched the movie in HD in these cool plush reclining chairs…

Guardians Movie

Naturally, after the movie, we had to pause for some pics with the Guardians of the Galaxy…

Guardians Movie

…and all Alex wanted was a picture with Rocket Raccoon…

Guardians Movie

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Today is not just any Sunday. It’s Mother’s Day! The boys have been especially good this weekend (“good” being relative 🙂 ). Still, they were very sweet with all the little gifts they made for Mom this week. Cindy was elated when she received these giant Mother’s Day cards…

Mother's Day Cards

Yep, Mother’s Day. The one day we celebrate all the hugs, kisses, love, joy, tears, worries, and fears that come with motherhood. We also appreciate all the band-aids, groceries, meals, laundry, vacuuming, dusting, minivan rides, homework help, school volunteering, and most of all, patience with Dad while he sits in the recliner watching baseball or some old movie on Turner Classics (and when she fetches me a beer, it’s always cold and it never arrives unopened!).

Yeah, I’m stereotyping BIG TIME! (well, sorta, because there’s truth in all of this).

Cindy is also an entrepreneur and has her own R+F business, which is growing. We so often overlook the fact that Moms aren’t always just moms. They don’t just run a household, they very well may run a business, too. So, today, we also celebrate the “momtrepreneur” who balances the demands of all the work at home with, well, just work.

Moms Rule

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

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It’s been a great year, but alas, the season has come to a close. Adam was heartbroken it was over and actually shed a tear or two. He loved this team and had the best time in this league. Hell, we all did! Now, it’s the bitter-sweet trophy day. Coach John talked about each player before he presented the trophy, highlighting their strengths and contribution to the team…

Trophy Day Trophy Day

But before we go, let’s take one last look at Adam at the plate. Well done, buddy! We’re very proud of you.

Trophy Day

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Today was the Second Annual Mom and Son Nerf War. One of Cindy’s friends first put this together last year after her son commented that his sister got to go to the Daddy-Daughter dance, but there was nothing for him to do. And the rest is history!

As the event gets underway, Alex is packed and ready to go with his Nerf vest full of ‘bullets’ and Adam is talking strategy with his crew…

Alex is ready Adam is ready

They had a great time this afternoon, although Cindy says she feels a little sore after all the running around. Adam naturally says the kids won the war, but it really doesn’t matter. After all, the great memory of this day will overshadow any perceived victory.

Mom and the Boys

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